Are you waiting for something, or someone, to arrive this Christmas? What are you most looking forward to this Christmas?  Perhaps it is the arrival of a loved one, or time with family and friends. Perhaps you are waiting on a special gift. Perhaps you are looking forward to a few days off of work or school.

2000-01-01 00.01.09.jpg

Perhaps you are waiting for a sickness to go away, either for yourself, or someone you care about. Perhaps you are awaiting to emerge from a season of grief or depression.

Maybe you are awaiting the reconciliation of a relationship. Maybe your children have walked away from God, and you are waiting for them to return. Maybe you have walked away from God, and are waiting to take the steps back to Him. Maybe you are waiting on God for some specific answers.

Whatever you might be waiting for, Advent signals a time of hopeful expectation.

The word “Advent” come from the Latin word “adventus”, meaning “coming” and is a translation of the Greek word “parousia”, which refers to the second coming of Christ. The second coming is how the 6th century Christians interpreted the Advent. It was not until the Middle Ages that  Advent was tied to the  coming of the baby Jesus, and how the church seems to observe Advent today; we tend to think of Jesus’ birth during this season rather than the Second Coming.

Our current situation on earth these days reminds me of the original meaning of Advent, that is, waiting for Christ’s return. As a church, as believers, we are living in exile on earth, as in a foreign country,  in a hostile and foreign culture, waiting for deliverance. We are awaiting Christ’s return to set things straight, to bring peace, to establish his kingdom and his throne. Actually, Scripture tells us ALL of creation is longing for Christ’s return.

Israel is still waiting in anticipation for their Messiah… it is grievous, is it not, to realize that the approximately 14 million Jewish people in the world today deny this, or do not know that the one prophesied about has  come already?

I realize how this sounds like foolishness to the world. But that does not mean it is not true.

Advent is a designated Time to Wait. In life, there is a time and purpose to everything, as we are told in Scripture, and this includes a season and Time to  Wait.

Most of us do not like to wait. I  admit it is often hard for me to wait, especially for certain things. Is it true for you as well?  With my limited human knowledge of time, circumstance, and perspective, I still wonder why I have to wait and why it seems to take so long to hear from God on certain matters.

Yet, there are designated “Times to Wait”. Consider the following:

  • God made Moses wait 40 years before returning to Egypt.
  • God made David wait 15 years from the time he was anointed king until he actually became King (and he spent those years running for his life from Saul who sought to kill him).
  • Jesus left Lazarus in the tomb several days before he came and brought him back to life.
  • God  allowed Hannah to wait (and endure scorn and ridicule) before granting her prayer request for a child.
  • God made Abraham and Sarah wait 100 years for a child.

What do you wait for?  We could add our own bullet points to the above list; I know I could add a few of my own.

One of my favorite songs to sing, especially in this season, is “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” The song beautifully depicts that sense of waiting and longing for the Messiah to return. Jesus’ return signals the beginning of a new era, when  all things will  be made whole and well, here on earth, but also points to our heavenly home.


O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou Wisdom from on high,
who orderest all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go. Refrain

O come, thou Rod of Jesse, free
thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
from depths of hell thy people save,
and give them victory over the grave. Refrain

O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer
our spirits by thine advent here;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
and death’s dark shadows put to flight. Refrain

O come, thou Key of David, come,
and open wide our heavenly home;
make safe the way that leads on high,
and close the path to misery. Refrain

O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times once gave the law
in cloud and majesty and awe. Refrain

O come, thou Root of Jesse’s tree,
an ensign of thy people be;
before thee rulers silent fall;
all peoples on thy mercy call. Refrain

O come, Desire of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind;
bid thou our sad divisions cease,
and be thyself our King of Peace. Refrain

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear. Refrain

Words: Latin, twelfth century;
trans. John Mason Neale (1818-1866), 1851

During this Advent, this Time to Wait, do not be discouraged, but remember that this Time of Waiting is purposeful.

Believe it: there is activity in the spiritual realm, in the dimensions outside of time and space, that are beyond our knowledge and understanding.
Believe it: God desires our good and is working to fulfill  His purpose and plan for us.
Believe it: It will be good, and it will be the Perfect Time.
{preaching to myself…}

2000-01-01 00.01.17